Wattan Media Network: Beit Mersim village, southwest of Hebron, suffers from poor infrastructure, specifically in roads and public transportation. With a population of 500 people, 240 of which are women, the women are the most suffering in the village near Dura in Hebron Governorate. The rural area endures from lack of public transportation needed to transport the people from Dura city to other areas, a problem that required intervention to solve it.
The Men’s Alliance was established by ADWAR Association, to support and advocate for women’s rights. The Alliance follows up with most of the eminent problems and needs of the village and they are attentive to their needs and concerns, and to women in particular. As member of the Alliance, Mr. Hamza Ibrahim Amro, said that the Alliance in partnership with the Women’s Protection Committee in Beit Marsim, succeeded in securing one public bus to transport the villagers to and from Dura city.
It is noteworthy that the Men’s Alliance was established in that rural area as part of the project “(Action, Pillar, Anchor) Positive masculinity for Societal Change and the Protection of Civic Participation of Women and Young Women”, within the framework of the Civic Participation and Community Engagement (CPCE) Project, implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in partnership with the Family Health International (fhi360) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Amro pointed out that the Men’s Alliance are in continuous communication with the local authorities and decision makers to inform them with the situation of the village and their needs, and to pass on their demands. Their Alliance is trying to solve the problem of public transport in the village with the transportation officer and relevant authorities, in order to provide one or more buses to them, since public transport is non-existent.
Amro said that “Transportation in the village is expensive, because it is mainly private, it costs 20 shekels to reach Dura city, which is a hefty amount,” by securing a public bus, that solves 80% of this problem, but one bus is not sufficient to cover the needs of the large number of people!.
Amro added that the Alliance has expressed its readiness to serve the village, and promotes women and students’ rights, and currently they are working on building a canteen for the only school in the village, and they are communicating with several institutions to rehabilitate the school yards and arrange for a school garden. In addition, the Alliance are holding meetings in partnership with the Women’s Protection Committee in Beit Mersim with the relevant local authorities demanding them to pay attention to their needs.
Amro requested the relevant local authorities to urgently respond to the village needs. Because of the severe lack of infrastructure, such as lack of paved roads, in addition to the problem that there is only one entrance to the village, which is the exit road at the same time, the villagers are afflicted with this taking into account that the nature of the village is mountainous.
Amro added, Beit Mersim have trouble with the severe lack of services, as there is no clinic, but there is only a child and maternity care clinic. There is only one mixed (male/female) school that accommodates 150 students from pre-school to the ninth grade, while there is a shortage in the number of classrooms; each classroom is divided into two classrooms, noting that adding the pre-school class (kindergarten) was done recently.
Amro further explained that the main street of the village, which connects it to the exit road, is in bad condition and needs restoration and paving, it was paved 25 years ago, and it is a street without sidewalks. The village plan includes an exit road to the village, but it is a very old road that needs to be opened and repaired by the local relevant authorities.
Amro requested the local relevant authorities to build and pave passageways and necessary agricultural roads, and to revitalize agricultural wells for women and young women, because of its impact on improving their economic and social conditions, since the village is agricultural. He also requested adding school classrooms and laboratories for mathematics, science and computer for the school children, in addition to rehabilitating the school yards.
Amro also called for the restoration and repair of the Old City, to restore its allegory and status, and to provide a community hall that includes an activity hall for women and a women’s club to contribute to the improvement of the village and the women status.
Amro said that the women and men of the village knocked on all doors to achieve their demands, but to no avail, and that they look forward for accountable local authorities to respond.